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The metaverse is a man-made virtual world. It is an immersive, online space created by the convergence of digital and physical reality. It is a combination of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), blockchain, web3, cryptocurrencies, social media, and more. Big companies are competing to create a metaverse platform, aka an operating system for the metaverse. The metaverse uses semiconductors and is used to make semiconductor designs. HPC, cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and many more are helping to design metaverse, and the metaverse can help to accelerate the innovation time and reduce the cost of semiconductor design.
Things are changing fast, and one of the most outstanding achievements is the rapid advancement of communication. We never had so many ways to communicate as we have now, from Graham Bell's telephone to the latest gig, the metaverse. The metaverse is the point of convergence digital and physical world, as shown below, where people will create, work, play, socialize and transact in a fully functioning economy that rivals the physical world.
Imagine you wear your glasses/headsets and are virtually in your home space. The man-made metaverse brings people, places, and things together with the digital world in the consumer and enterprise world. How fascinating it is to transform avatars effortlessly! The metaverse uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence, language processing, blockchain, etc., to create this virtual world and needs The smooth metaverse operation needs the least latency, virtual compute, and storage services, and of course broadband connectivity. High-performance computing (HPC) is instrumental to the metaverse, as we need HPC for real-time data processing. Companies like Meta and NVIDIA collaborating to build AI supercomputers to power the metaverse. This technology is traditionally used in gaming, but recent developments showed that the metaverse is also incorporated in remote working. Many organizations are open to adopting it for education, games, and space exploration. NASA is planning to ride the metaverse wave: NASA's Martian metaverse will prepare astronauts for Mars Mission using Epic Games' engine for a practical and realistic environment.
The metaverse is best understood as a quasi-successor state to the mobile internet. This is because the metaverse will not fundamentally replace the internet but iteratively transform it. The semiconductor industry is creating chips to transform the future of our living; also, we are leveraging these technologies today to deploy these innovations smarter and faster. Semiconductors play a significant role in such innovations, from chip technology's ongoing evolution and creation of the unreal.
Semiconductors are crucial in making the metaverse a reality. Existing chips are not best suited for connecting 3D worlds; supply chain and longer lead times are other challenges that limit the usage of existing chips for the metaverse. Key players have started designing chips to make metaverse a reality. For instance, Omniverse from NVIDIA for connecting 3D worlds into a shared universe.
A semiconductor metaverse can help to accelerate chip innovation and shorten the time from technology ideation to commercialization. There are many tools and complicated transitions involved during a complete design cycle. The semiverse is a virtual environment in which development and testing are done as a combined human-machine enterprise. Both humans and machines are doing what they do best. It will also enable greater collaboration to help the industry deliver disruptive technologies faster and more often. The complete digital representation of the entire chip fabrication process in the semiverse will allow chipmakers to look at the interactions across processes throughout the fab to improve repeatability and optimize yield. The term was coined at the Imec Future Summits conference by Lam Research's CEO, Tim Archer.
"We envision the semiverse as a hybrid physical, virtual environment where development and testing is done as a joint human-machine enterprise, where humans and machines are actually each doing what they do best," Tim Archer, CEO of Lam Research
While the growth of the semiverse is expected to benefit semiconductor companies, it will also help startups and research labs as well, as it helps in:
Although the industry is still far from fully realizing the semiverse, using the cloud for EDA is a big step. Emerging model-based engineering tools are already helping to virtualize more of the engineering and testing process.
The metaverse involves usage of AI/ML. It is very challenging to use these at the edge demands usage of tiny-ML and high-performance computing. Other challenges associated with metaverse are as below:
Bringing industry-leading vSLAM to the edge using Tensilica Vision DSPs for glasses and HMDs, Cadence is working with semiconductor leaders to help them to innovate and build new ways to engage with customers, partners, and their digital workforce. Cadence provides Tensilica IPs and solutions like Always-On systems for low-energy internet of things (IoT) applications. Our verification suite helps to solve the compute needs of SoC verification on Arm-based server datacenters. Tensilica AI platform is a comprehensive IP platform for edge to on-device to accelerate AI everywhere. Such innovative solutions from Cadence help to extend the battery life and improve the user experience.
Xvisio and Cadence collaborate to build a metaverse. It uses Cadence’sTensilica Vision Q7 and Q8 DSPs and Xtensa SDKs to create a metaverse.